The Spirit of Birmingham Walking Tour, September 29th 2012

On Coffee Birmingham day (September 29th 2012), Midlands Discovery Tours in association with Coffee Birmingham will present  The Spirit of Birmingham.

“Join an expert local Blue Badge tourist guide for a very special walking tour of Birmingham.

The tour is a celebration of Birmingham as a city of creativity, innovation and enterprise, from its earliest days to modern times.

As we walk the streets of the modern city centre and Jewellery Quarter, you will discover how Birmingham has always been a place that has welcomed and encouraged original thinking, and hear stories of some of the men and women who took advantage of that spirit.  Find out how local people’s ideas shaped the world around them, and how independent Birmingham businesses became household names.

But as tour guide Ian Braisby will introduce, it’s not just about the past – we will also explore modern Birmingham’s thriving independent scene and some of the key locations and areas where it can be found.

Covering everything from music, art and literature to industry and, of course, food and drink, this very special tour is an entertaining and informative look at a city that has always lived up to its motto “Forward”.

These events are very popular and offered on a first-come first-served basis so book your place early.

Times and booking details coming soon, but for more information, please contact Midlands Discovery Tours by calling Ian Braisby on:

07970 655 261
or visit

Twitter: @MidsDiscovery
Hashtags: #indielove #coffeebrum






Announcing Coco Meli Bakery as supporter of Coffee Birmingham

We are delighted to announce Coco Meli Artisan Bakery as a supporter of Coffee Birmingham.

We very much concur with their mantra that “Cake is Love”.







Based locally, Coco Meli Bakery bakes cakes, bread and good food to order for delivery or for collection from their bakery, and are a fixture at markets across Birmingham.

Coco Meli supply a number of local good food establishments with patisserie and breads, and their premier corporate clients with scrumptious canapés and mini patisserie for business receptions and exclusive fashion events.





So with all this in mind, we are delighted that they are supported us and we have a bonus …

…those who attend our upcoming #Superjelly on Friday 10th August will have the opportunity to sample some of their savoury and sweet treats, on a first come first served basis.


Follow them on facebook here.
Follow them on twitter: @cocomelibakery

With thanks for Mel for her generosity and enthusiasm, and to Gavin from To Bizzy 2 Bake for enabling this to happen.



What is Jelly?

As you may have noticed on the front page of the website, on August 10th, Coffee Birmingham is uniting with the official Birmingham #Jelly to launch a #Superjelly. Some of you are possibly wondering what a Jelly is. So here are two perspectives from the Superjelly organisers.

First, Coffee Birmingham founder, Tim Wilson explains here in relation to #JellyLincoln, which he also runs on a monthly basis.

Second, here’s a piece from the Enterprise Nation site by official Birmingham Jelly organiser, Rickie Josen which backs up Tim’s comments.

#jelly #superjelly #indielove.



Meeting our Competition Winner

It was great to meet Lucy Whalley, our competition winner yesterday. The prize came courtesy of our hosts for the launch of the Declaration of Independents on Independents Day, Six Eight Kafe, Urban Coffee Company and Saint Caffe. We are also grateful to Peter and Alex from Urban and 6/8 respectively for presenting the prize to Lucy.

In addition to the joyous coffee Lovers prize that you see below, Lucy got a three month subscription to Urban’s Coffee Connoisseurs and some more free coffee and cake courtesy of Six Eight Kafe.





Coffee Birmingham is recruiting – Volunteer Event Manager(s)

Coffee Birmingham is a new movement celebrating all things related to independent coffee and independent culture in Birmingham which culminated in the launch of the Declaration of Independents on Wednesday 4th July and the inaugural Coffee Birmingham event, to be held on Saturday 29th September 2012.

Coffee Birmingham is a celebration of local independents – coffee shops, food, produce, market traders, community, experience and fun.

We are looking for a Volunteer Event Manager to be part of this exciting movement and to drive future events and activities.

Job Description
Responsible for driving and ensuring the smooth running of events
Taking ownership on (and driving forward) creative ideas
Engaging with customers and businesses
Brainstorming creative ideas and providing input into marketing and events

Key Skills Required   
Good customer facing skills
Experience of working on live events
Interest in pursuing a career in marketing, events, hospitality or the coffee industry
Creative and quick thinking

Unpaid but pre-agreed expenses will be paid

Tuesday 31st July, but we are looking to get our volunteers recruited from now, so if you hang around it could
mean we have already appointed everyone we need.

Next steps
Please email your CV along with a paragraph or two on why this role is important to you and what you would offer/bring to





#Independentsday: What do Independents mean to you?

As part of the launch of the Declaration of Independents, we asked people what independents meant to them as part of a competition only in our coffee shop locations (Six Eight Kafe, Urban Coffee Company and Saint Caffe) on the day.

This is a selection of what people said:

  • “Preservation of local business and upholding local jobs and crafts. Genuine friendliness”
  • “#Real”
  • “Fresh cake. Good, independent ideas!”
  • “Independents mean originality, passion, a friendly atmosphere and most of all quality”
  • “Good coffee, different blends, friendly, homely and good cakes!”
  • “A delightful place to meet. A brilliant place to be.”
  • “Knowledge, understanding, passion and customer service that comes from enjoying what you do. Being treated like a person not just a customer.”
  • “It’s about standing on your own two feet, setting out your own rules and sticking to them, no matter what anybody says!”
  • “friends, food and excellent drinks.”
  • “Local businesses in which a focus is on quality and passion for the products which are being sold.”
  • “People who ask me how my holiday was….”
  • “Individual flavour and great taste – creative and originally – that others try to copy. Good company :)”
  • “Supporting independent shops and cafes means keeping the diversity of towns and cities alive. I love trying new independent places.”
  • “I want character, not homogenised Star-Costa-Nero’s. I want to know where my coffee comes from. I want to taste the coffee!”
  • “A much more personal, quality service”
  • “I don’t want the faux familiarity of my name on a cup. I want to chat to my barista Joe as his coffee wakes me up. Plus it Tootes Bangin!”
  • “Freedom of choice. Not being guided one way or another.”
  • “Quality. Relaxation. Good company.”
  • “…. Tasty, surprising and responsive. Places to be.”
  • “Good coffee, personal service, a small and not a  big corporate.”
  • “Freedom of choice and personal service with a smile.”
  • “#Braveheart”
  • “Choice and community for me, and profits staying local, too!”
  • “Freedom of choice and a more interesting and lively environment.”
  • “Variety, choice and freedom.”
  • “It is important to support your independents: they give the best customer service and always value you as an individual, which is a rare trait these days.”
  • “Local people being free to operate in a big city as freely as the industry giants.”
  • “The little man doing his thing and being supported by the community.”
  • “Staff who care.”
  • “Empowering people to make sound decisions as a consumer, providing meaningful environment.”
  • “It means that you owe no one anything. Look after yourself. Pay your own way.”
  • “I love independents because their smiles and happiness comses from a love of their products and great service rather than a staff training manual.”

This is a selection of the responses from those who signed up to the Declaration online:

  • “Quality coffee served by quality people. Friendship and a home away from home.”
  • “Good coffee in a non-identikit environment”
  • “Great service and quality that the chains can’t match.”
  • “Better quality and personal touches”
  • “Coffee as it should be!”
  • “Passion, knowledge, quality”

Thanks to those of you who contributed. Stay tuned as we announce the winner of our competition imminently.




Our Facebook Page is now live

Please head over to and “like us” and show the independent movement some love.